Tuesday, September 11, 2012

pay it forward.

the president & first lady observe a moment of silence at the white house
on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of 9.11.

well, i'm almost done with my XXX olympiad posts,
as i imagine many of you must be.
but there were so, so many fascinating stories
of strength & courage & gumption & passion & beauty & heart . . .

& i've got just a handful more i intend to add.
but today, i'm taking a break to write about pay it forward 9/11.

i've blogged about this movement before —
begun by my a colleague from college, kevin tuerff,
it's about honoring this occasion by doing unexpected kindnesses for strangers.

it's about remembering the lives sacrificed in a positive way, &
proving good can & will flourish in the face of evil.

at kevin's agency, enviromedia, here in austin,
the staff splits into small teams, & the company gives each team
$100 & the morning of 9.11 off to go out into the community
& use their benjamin to do good for unsuspecting others.

i got to be part of this meaningful tradition once
while i was working part-time at enviromedia, & found it to be
such an all-around lifting day-brightener that i try to participate
as a solo team of one each year.

so this morning, i did five good deeds. i spent only about $25,
& while some of my good deeds were for strangers, some were for friends & neighbors.
all were definitely unexpected.

my favorite thing was baking about four dozen chocolate-chip cookies,
& offering them to almost everyone i encountered for the rest of the day.

i gave cookies to the people working the drive-thru, a street sweeper
guy parked at the gas station, a school bus driver, many of our neighbor
kids & their grownups walking home from school, the middle-school nurse,
a homeless gentleman on the corner, several elderly people in an elevator,
my chiropractor's officemate & my therapist, among others.

whenever someone asked me why i was giving away free homemade cookies today,
i simply answered, "i'm just trying to make 9.11 a happier day for everyone."
& it worked — i was gifted with smile upon smile all day long.

it's wonderful what a little cookie & connection can do.

image source: jason reed for reuters.

1 comment:

Mrs. Blake said...

Didn't know the story behind the Pay It Forward movement yesterday, but it makes my participation (albeit small!) that much more meaningful! What a wonderful idea. Love it, and you for sharing!